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Hitachi 43" (4:3) or Panasonic 47" (16:9)


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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Adam O

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Posted August 14 2002 - 09:43 PM

Ive been looking for a new set for sometime now and have narrowed it down to just a couple sets. I know I know they arnt even the same aspect ratio Posted Image but hey thats why i need help.

Ive looked at both these sets in detail and have fiddled around with that tv screen size calculator. They both have great pictures on DVD. I however havnt seen these sets hooked up to cable, I would forsure be using the stretch mode on the panny, and apparently I would have a 25% smaller area on it compared to the Hitachi, as well as a different AR. Now with DVDs or widescreen material my screen area goes up about 40%!!! with the panasonic which is huge IMO. This is the trade off I cant decide on.

I watch probably 20% Movies to 80% cable/movies, but I dont like the idea of having a 40% smaller picture with DVDs.

BTW Im about 6.5 feet from the screen, would this effect any thing, aka, would the panny be too big from that distance?

Thanks alot for listening to my yammering,

Adam
"Remember James, shadows stay infront or behind...never on top!"

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Michael Silla

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Posted August 15 2002 - 06:31 AM

6.5 feet?

I think you need to first make a desicion on which type of set you really want before going further. IMHO, buying a 4:3 RPTV at this time would be a mistake, even considering the viewing habits you mentioned.

I don't know what you budget is but I'd definently consider either of those brands. You might be able to sneak in a 50, 51 or 53 inch set with that viewing distance. I sit 9.5 feet away from a 53 inch Hitachi and I honestly wish I went bigger (61 or 65 inch). Personally, I found the Hitachi picture to be better (IN GENERAL) although many here extol the virtues of the Panasonics (especially their tweakabilty).

In the end it is your money.

Michael.

(P.S. I watch 90% DVD movies and 10% cable on my set)

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   EugeneR

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Posted August 15 2002 - 09:40 AM

In my admittedly biased view (just got a Panny), go with the bigger, 16:9 set. Nothing like watching a DVD on a widescreen set. Another consideration--I've found that my ratio of DVD watching has gone up considerably--it just looks so good!Posted Image

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted August 16 2002 - 05:35 AM

Just to make your decision harder, I got a 47" (the panny as a matter of fact) with a viewing distance of 8 feet -- mostly due to all the posts that said "go bigger". In retropect I'd have gone with a 42" (a Hitachi, to stretch the irony). When I move back to 9-10 feet my screen feels great, but I don't want to do that given the rest of the layout of my room.

I would recommend the widescreen if you are even thinking of going that way, it's very nice. You could of course use the 4:3 in letter box, but then you'll probably be too small instead of too big.

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   John-Miles

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Posted August 16 2002 - 05:43 AM

If you dont mind the stretch get the Panny. Right now either 4:3 or 16x9 is a good option, but the future is definitely 16x9 I know myself if i had been able to get a bigger widescreen tv in my price range then i definitely would not have bought a 4:3, but I wasent going to take a 34" over a 36" given the size differences, especially since iw atch more cable than dvd by far.

its a tough choice, trade off's either way, but i say get the Panny if you can live with the stretch
Cheers

John

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted August 16 2002 - 05:50 AM

Adam,

If you prefer the 4:3 sets, that is your personal preference and don't let anybody tell you that it is wrong. 4:3 material will be around a long time, and if you love classic film and vintage television, it will be around forever.

I'd only recommend a 4:3 HD set that has a squeezed 16:9 mode for 480p and 1080i, but most of them now do.

The crt-based 16:9 RPTVs are just permanently squeezed, actually. Nobody makes 16:9 projection CRTs yet, so they make them from 4:3 CRTs and make the squeeze permanent.

And if anybody wants to flame, think twice about it. I'm not saying a 4:3 set is right for most people. In fact, I'd say 90% or more movie fans are best served by a 16:9 set.

I think 4:3 sets are actually best for most sports fans, but that's another story...

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted August 16 2002 - 06:38 AM

Okay Mike, I was with you until the sports fan == 4:3 comment. I would think that a wider screen would be ideal for sports. And it's my understanding that more and more stations (Fox comes to mind) are broadcasting in widescreen (if not HD). This is all 2nd hand for me as I only use my widescreen TV for DVD.)

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted August 16 2002 - 08:40 AM

Quote:
Okay Mike, I was with you until the sports fan == 4:3 comment. I would think that a wider screen would be ideal for sports. And it's my understanding that more and more stations (Fox comes to mind) are broadcasting in widescreen (if not HD). This is all 2nd hand for me as I only use my widescreen TV for DVD.)

I agree that a wider screen is ideal for sports. However, if you look at all of the baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and auto racing alone, less than 1% is actually currently broadcast in widescreen. Less than 1%. I'm a Reds fan and about 70-80 games are broadcast a year and not one is in widescreen and there is not even a single Reds game scheduled to be broadcast on HDNet this year.

A serious sports fan is almost always going to be watching a 4:3 broadcast, and is likely to be much happier with a 4:3 screen. Hopefully this changes over the next few years. I don't buy sets for 5 years from now, I buy them for the next 5 years. Five years from now you'll likely be able to buy a true 1920x1080p 16:9 set for half of what a typical HD set today that can only resolve around 25% of that resolution.

Now, a casual sports fan that only watches the Masters, the Final Four, and the Superbowl is probably going to think that a 4:3 screen for sports makes no sense. And for them, they are correct.